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Living (in an Apartment) in a Foreign Country

Place: Desk at my apartment in Rome, Italy
Time: 14:22 PM ( 2:22 PM)
Mood: Homesick, regretful, sad…
Note: It seems that the only locals that truly welcome a foreigner are the mosquitos. They truly love my blood…
A week has passed in Rome.
Feels like it has been so much longer than that.

As I turned on the boiler/heater before taking my shower (you have to heat up the water and wait quite a while), I began to just think about back home.
I had been avoiding thinking about home, family – and I had been trying to have minimal contact with family in order to prevent my homesickness. I did not want to hold back my family nor have them worry about me.

I did not want to cry…
…..
The water was still cold even after 15 minutes

Eff it, I will just take the shower. 
It will be healthy for me anyways and perhaps numb some of the pain.

People seem to always want to get out of their parents’ home and live on their own and yes that is fine; however, I do not think that they really realize how precious their time is being a dependent.
I have not had such an urge since I like living with my family and already felt like I have the home to myself as I am usually home alone when I am there.

Then there are those that cannot stand their dorm rooms because of this and that and that is fine and all, but once again they do not realize how easy they have it
(and this time I include myself in that crowd).

Almost all of the living necessities are provided.
You do not have to worry about setting up and paying the bills,
buying groceries, appliances, and kitchenware,
buying toilet paper, trash bags, detergent (well dorms yes, but hear me out),
cleaning the windows, walls, trashcans,
and so much more.
…Wanting to become independent is definitely a good thing and part of growing up and I am all up for it which is why I came abroad.

However, I definitely did not expect this feeling of being thrown somewhere.
I thought that living in an apartment rather than a dorm room or homestay would be awesome since I would have my own kitchen and the freedom to do what I want.
But then there are the cons and there is that one fact.

I am in a foreign country where I do not speak the language and where the currency is different.

Everything is more expensive here.
I have to buy my own toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, etc.
I have to figure out what some foods are here and how to even purchase them.
The way groceries are bought is different here.

I cannot be too loud during a certain time period.
I cannot have guests over for too long.
All because the rules are different here.
You also do not know when your next food or drink will come at times.
Not everything can be found in one place like Target, Costco, or Walmart.
You do not know what some stores are or where to get things.

One thing that I had decided was that I was not going to be like some of the others here:
complaining to my family and demanding care packages.
I am not going to expect any or request for any because I know how expensive it is.
I will find what I need and will get them myself.
It is not because I am stubborn or just want to rely on my self.
I just do not want to worry my family or have them concern over me.
I came here to become more independent after all.
And I know where this money came from.
I will spend it well, not recklessly.

I realized that Americans are so spoiled in everyday life.
We really are.

I could see vividly the image of my mother coming home lugging bags and bags of food and mainly fruit because she knows how much I love fruit. And I would complain that she bought too much once again when she only wanted to satisfy me especially before I left.

Aw crap I am tearing up. STOP IT SARAH STAY STRONG.
You do not want your flat mates to see…oh crap there goes one tear.

But now it is like, damn, why did I complain?
It was such a privilege and she did it all out of love.
She does everything out of love.
And I learned all that and knew and know that even during my stay in the dorm room.
But now that everything is becoming even more like the “real”, independent life

Aw frickin A, I cannot stop crying…crap.

I am noticing even more the little details that I should be thankful for.
I never thought that I am a super spoiled child although I know that I am in comparison to those who are starving. But I seriously am so blessed.
I really did take things for granted that I thought I did not.
I am just like everyone else that I did not want to become like.
I am a hypocrite.

I am spoiled.

complaing, being dissatisfied, getting angry at my mother when she does so much for me.
She always says that I will only know when I grow older, only know when it is too late, when she is gone from this earth

I guess I am glad that I know now before she passes. which I def do not want to think about.
She is turing 60 soon…
I always see her as this energetic, bubbly, young woman

I always see her as my friend.
But I really do need to realize that she is right.
I need to treat her better because I do have goals for my family that I wish to achieve.
I should have cooked for her, like legit.
I should not have focused so much on “being healthy”, losing weight, being in my own depressed world, watching korean variety shows.
When she actually wanted to go out for a walk, I should have.

I can not stop sobbing now, but I need to write this all out.

I know that it will get better.
I just hope that I will not take her for granted again.
I told myself I would not after realizing crap during freshman year of college…
I failed.

Being in a foreign country is hard.
Not knowing anybody in that country is hard.
Living alone is hard.
Being in a foreign country while living alone and knowing few people is

Well…fill in the blank.
……..
Although as of now, it seems that the only solution once again is to just keep me constantly busy so that I am too exhausted to even think about family.
But that will wear and tear down my body and mind all over again…
But I know it will get better.
***
Love you mom…

Question: So, can anybody relate? any advice?
Snoh
Proverbs 12:25 – “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”
Snohwhite Study Abroad Blog
Minji Noh’s Music
Shields of Strength
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Currently on Leave

So I am currently studying abroad in Rome, Italy. Obviously there to learn some recipes and such for this website 😉 But actually, I am. So I will not be posting on here most likely for a few months, but there are plenty of food pics and things about Rome (plus basically my honest thoughts which I guess I do not care who reads or hears or judges since I am just laying myself out here on the open internet) in my study abroad website:

My study abroad Blog

Alrighty then, A Dopo-

Snoh

 

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The Importance of Imagination

Place: Dining Table eating Kimbab

Time: 5:00 PM

Mood: Pensive

I never thought the day would come … the day that I realize that suddenly I am not as imaginative as I was before.

I was playing with my niece and nephew as usual (more like my nephew was chilling actually). As we were playing in her “play pen” and as she took out her animal toys one by one while repeating what they were to me with her …. wonderful pronunciation, I suddenly remembered the days that I used to play with the simplest things as erasers with faces drawn on them to legos, little plastic teddy bears that I so originally called Beary, to boxes that I decorated and cut out to form houses since I did not have a doll house. I would spend hours playing with them by giving them a history, a character, a voice … these hours included alone in my home on the shelves in my closet to the inside of my school desk with my friends.

I remember when I could easily give voices to anything alive or not and amuse my friends with my impersonations (which I still sometimes do).

I remember that I could be amused even by giving my hands a voice while I took a bath as I did not have a rubber ducky.

I used to crawl around on all fours and pretend to be a cat or a dog or even one time Smeagol from the Lord of the Rings.

Adding on to crawling around, I would pretend that I was Snohtail (a name I gave myself as I pretended to be a cat from the Warriors) and I would crawl around with my stuffed animals and another friend of mine as we pretended that different sections of our neighborhood were different territories for various cat clans. Adding on to that, I could tell stories to myself of the bravery of various warriors and such as I took walks around alone in my own thoughts.

I remember all this and then feel sad that I cannot do it anymore or at least to the same level to where I am amused…

But I want my niece and nephew to have that kind of imagination and to really enjoy their childhood. And so, I gave it a shot. I began to give random animals a different voice: one with a British accent, one with an Irish one, one  with a high voice, and one with a low one. I plopped them around the toy boat and she began giggling and laughing with that beautiful smile of hers.

I took the two bagels and put them to my eyes and looked through each bagel hole (eye holes) and then held them to her face to show her what she could do with them. She looked through them too like they were glasses and began laughing once again. I put them to my face again and then to my nephew’s and she giggled saying his name “Caleb! Caleb!”

photo

And then she took the manatee and began to do what I had done just a few moments before: have it “swim” around while singing a theme song in the background and then plop it into the boat…

I just suddenly had this thought of not wanting my niece to become brainwashed by the technology these days. I didn’t want her to solely rely on the television and iPad games for entertainment. I want her to continue to read and to play with the countless amount of toys that she is blessed with.

This is why no matter how fussy she is, I make sure to not resort to giving her the iPad or turning on the television.

Imagination is something that is so important that keeps something alive in us. It keeps us young…it is our inner child, our inner creativity crying to come out and show something to the world…to us. It keeps our minds working and keeps a part of us happy.

Without imagination, we become almost…mechanical like robots … we lose our individuality, our creativity …

I pray that I will continue to be able to keep my imagination alive even if it is not as strong as before.

I pray that my niece and nephew and the future generations will be able to not succumb to technology, but be able to enjoy the traditional toys and such as well and that they will be able to communicate and still play with one another not through the means of games or electronics, but through things such as the playground, dolls, books, and more…

Snoh

Proverbs 4:23 – “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”

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Raw Vegan Calling Me

It keeps happening! I keep craving Raw Vegan desserts and I keep trying to find raw vegan desserts on yelp and such. I’ve been super into baking, but it was more lately for the decorating aspect of it, but now I stopped because I ended up eating all the buttery, sugary, unhealthiness ><

What I really care about is the nutrition as well as the decor so I guess I really need to go back to my roots of raw vegan desserts…if I could do that as a bakery or as a job or something. I feel so stuck. I wish I could be Raya Belna’s mentee…

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How to Get&Maintain Clear Skin

So my friends, family, peers, and even strangers always comment on how clear and clean my skin is. I don’t want to sound like I’m bragging or anything, but even some physical therapists (face masseuses) would comment on how my skin is baby soft skin. It ends up being that a lot of people ask me how I do it. Honestly, it’s really just about eating clean most of the time (and I don’t mean staying on some crazy strict diet because trust me, I still eat plenty of sodium and sugar filled foods). But honestly, just cutting down on unnecessary sugars. I admit I still binge eat desserts, but I don’t drink soda and I eat clean moderately. I noticed that I would break out when I suddenly increased my processed sugar and salts intake. Also, cleaning your face is key as well, but honestly, I don’t believe in using face cleansers and things because my skin reacts to those usually. At home, I honestly just wash my face with water and that’s it. At school, I would use face cleansers, but honestly there’s little difference. Overall, it’s really about what you Eat because your body is a Reflection of your lifestyle and Literally, You are What you Eat. This is why I prefer eating raw, whole foods because they’re clean. I prefer to eat a lot of fresh veggies, fruits, and if I snack, I like to make clean desserts or snack on things or whatever else I have in the house

But, honestly, I eat a lot of Korean food which is filled with sodium and I eat tons of fruit when I’m back home…so I’m not really sure. I guess it is genetic? I eat bread, chocolate, and whatever else I want too….

Acne-Face-Mapping

 

Overview of my lifestyle which may help:

1. Eat a lot of fruit (veggies too if you want but I don’t really….)

2. Wash your face with water and avoid unnecessary chemical stuff

3. Don’t drink Soda

4. Eat whatever I want, mainly in moderation.

5. Drink a lot of water

6. Exercise

7. Korean food XD

But honestly, EVERYBODY is different! Each body will react differently to different foods. Experiment and see what’s right for you. I know that’s so cliche, but it’s true.

 

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Did You Know? : Causes of Acne

I admit it, I’m one of those that people secretly hate because I have never had major acne or even mild. My face was always so “clean”, “smooth”, etc as others called it.

That is, until sophomore year of college…

Sure, I’ve had mild breakouts, but they always disappeared after a day or two.

But then there was one.

The one that came on my chin and would not go away. For a while I thought it was disappearing (after a few weeks), but it deceived me because it came again and will not leave my face. I mean I get that my face is so soft, squishy (from all that fat), but must it really just live on my chin for so long? Must other pimples start to creep up as well joining forces with it?

So, I searched up why it wouldn’t go away and I found this interesting article which I wholeheartedly agree with. It makes sense. I’ve always eaten clean and had a lot of fresh, whole foods. That is, until this year, which would explain this garden on my face.

So here’s a reference, a link to it for future reference: http://www.thelovevitamin.com/5335/where-your-acne-is-and-what-it-looks-like-can-tell-you-whats-causing-it/#.Upqt0dKsiM4 which states that it’s from http://blog.pieceofchic.net/2012/08/22/acne-face-map/